Show Preview | Rendezvous

Tulsa, OK
Gilcrease Museum, April 16-July 12

Walter T. Matia, The Old Guards, bronze, 5 x 9 x 3.

Walter T. Matia, The Old Guards, bronze, 5 x 9 x 3.

This story was featured in the April 2015 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art April 2015 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story!

The Gilcrease Museum presents its annual Rendezvous Artists’ Retrospective and Art Sale this month, featuring works by two highly acclaimed figures in the contemporary western art arena. Sculptor Walter T. Matia and painter Andy Thomas present collections that trace their respective careers, while also debuting several new pieces.

Rendezvous opens on April 16 and continues through July 12. The exhibition includes more than 40 of Matia’s expressive bronzes of wildlife, as well as several decorative pieces. Thomas brings 35 of his energetic, illustrative paintings, with subject matter ranging from the Old West to modern politics. Many of Matia’s bronzes, including five new ones, along with 18 new canvases by Thomas, are available for purchase. The sale takes place on Friday, April 17. Additional events include art talks by each artist, also on April 17, and Brunch With the Artists on April 18.

A frequent sculptor of birds, Matia is drawn to avian life for its intrinsic beauty, as well as the variety of shapes, gestures, and narratives birds offer—all communicative vehicles for sculptors. His bronzes convey a sense of movement through space, producing a liberated yet structured dynamism. Half of his oeuvre consists of birds, while the remainder explores his interest in sporting dogs and other creatures.

Considering his retrospective, Matia says, “After 35 years, I am most interested in the ability to reflect on the work and see how it has evolved. It’s fun to look back and see what worked and what didn’t.” He continues, “I can also see how my skills have grown as I have learned to edit and decide what ideas are worth pursuing.”

Andy Thomas, The Captivity of Fanny Kelly, oil, 24 x 18.

Andy Thomas, The Captivity of Fanny Kelly, oil, 24 x 18.

Noted for his depictions of the Old West and scenes from American history, Thomas narrates the subject matter that has intrigued him since childhood. “My father loved Remington and Russell,” he says, and he describes his western-themed paintings as representing “an American boy’s fascination with cowboys.” He has cultivated this fascination on canvas, portraying historical scenes with an intensity and realism that bring the stories to life in a visually engaging manner.

Thomas’ retrospective spans nearly three decades and illustrates the range of subjects and styles he has explored. “During the first 10 years, I painted everything. It was a great learning process,” says the self-taught painter. “I wanted to show a variety of work in the retrospective … to exhibit other genres I have always enjoyed, for example, maritime scenes and portraiture.”

Linda Galbraith, director of corporate/business philanthropy and art sales at the Gilcrease, remarks, “Throughout its history, Rendezvous has strived to carry forward the legacy of the late Thomas Gilcrease by supporting artists who painted and sculpted images of the American West. We believe the works of these two artists characterize and celebrate the western spirit. This signature event is a unique opportunity to collect some of the finest art in the country.” —Elizabeth L. Delaney

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Featured in the April 2015 issue of Southwest Art magazine–click below to purchase:
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